RESURGENT Harry Haynes recorded his 100th UK career winner in style when partnering Sue Smith’s rising star Straidnahanna to an imposing New Year’s Day victory at Catterick.
Now unbeaten from two starts over fences, the novice chaser’s task was made easier by the early exit of the Warren Greatrex-trained odds-on favourite Kaysersberg.
There was a moment’s scare for Haynes at the fifth last – Straidnahanna would have earned four faults in the showjumping sphere – but the horse had six lengths in hand after some spectacular leaps up the home straight.
The landmark was a particularly pleasing one for Haynes whose career had stalled since he partnered Malton trainer Malcolm Jefferson’s Attaglance to victories at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals in 2012.
It is his fourth win since returning to the saddle this autumn following an injury lay-off, and a riding stint in America, and a second success for High Eldwick-based Smith and her husband Harvey.
“It was a great way to start the New Year riding my 100th UK winner,” Haynes told The Yorkshire Post.
“Many thanks to the owners, and Mr and Mrs Smith, for letting me ride him. He’s a lovely horse with an exciting future and he’s only just turned six. He is a horse for next season.”
Malton trainer Brian Ellison and jockey Will Kennedy completed a double with Definitely Red and Racing Europe.
Meanwhile, former Champion Hurdle hero Rock On Ruby, now 10, was a popular winner at Cheltenham and could step up to three miles for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the NH Festival.
“(Yesterday’s) performance is as good as any of them,” said jockey Noel Fehily.